This short story is told to the reader as if it were a story that had been told over and around so many campfires that the exact times and names were lost and only the events remained. A boy was kidnapped by Indians and all attempts of the parents to recover him failed. Years later a soldier reports having seen a “blue eyed savage” while in Indian territory. The parents locate this savage and although he could not understand the language spoken to him he allows them to bring him back to his childhood home. They believe they recognize him as their son but are not convinced because of his loss of civilized behavior. Upon arriving at the house he reflects upon the doorway briefly before letting out a yell. Running directly through the house, and into the kitchen he removes a knife from the chimney of the oven which he had hidden there years before. The parents cry for the return of their child and the young man is happy for the moment. He could not readjust to civilization however and returns to the wilderness. The narrator than asks what was felt when the past met the present in the poignant recognition of his childhood memory.
The students could use this story as the motivation for a dance expressing self-discovery. Asking themselves and the audience “who am I” while expressing any of the range of emotions these family characters experienced from the initial kidnapping up until the moment of recognition. This story is an abstract form offers many possibilities for the students to draw from his/her own personal experiences with family ties. Perhaps there has been a loss of a family member through death or a breaking up of a family through divorce. Perhaps a student has contemplated or actually run away from home. These situations would all cause inner reflections leading to self-discovery.
Format for implementing assignments included throughout unit.